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HOW TO WRITE ESSAYS
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Visit our How To website at At you can engage in conversation with some of our authors – all of whom have ‘been there and done that’ in their specialist fields. You can get access to special offers and additional content but, most importantly, you will be able to engage with, and become a part of, a wide and growing community of people just like yourself. At you’ll be able to talk to, and share tips with, people who have similar interests and are facing similar challenges in their lives. People who, just like you, have the desire to change their lives for the better – be it through moving to a new country, starting a new business, growing their own vegetables, or writing a novel. At you’ll find the support and encouragement you need to help make your aspirations a reality. How To Books strives to present authentic, inspiring, practical information in their books. Now, when you buy a title from How To Books , you get even more than words on a page.
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how to books HOW TO WRITE ESSAYS A step-by-step guide for all levels, with sample essays Don Shiach
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author and publishers are grateful to Nicholas Murray and the Rack Press, Kinnerton, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2PF for permission to reproduce History from Nicholas Murray’s collection ‘The Narrators’. Published by How To Content, A division of How To Books Ltd, Spring Hill House, Spring Hill Road, Begbroke, Oxford OX5 1RX, United Kingdom Tel: (01865) 375794 Fax: (01865) 379162 [email protected] All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or stored in an information retrieval system (other than for purposes of review), without the express permission of the publisher in writing. Text © Don Shiach 2009 First edition 2007, second edition 2009 First published in electronic form 2009 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978 1 84803 323 8 Produced for How To Books by Deer Park Productions, Tavistock Typeset by specialist publishing services ltd, Montgomery Cartoons by Phill Burrows Cover design by Baseline Arts Ltd, Oxford The right of Don Shiach to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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CONTENTS Preface vii Introduction ix 1 Planning Your Essay 1 What are you being asked to do? 1 Making a plan 6 2 The Opening Paragraph 11 ‘Waffle’ 12 The length of the opening paragraph 15 Useful phrases 16 More opening paragraphs 18 3 The Body of the Essay 26 Paragraphs 26 More examples of paragraphs 30 Continuity 34 The use of close references 38 More about the body of the essay 41 4 The Closing Paragraph 43 Final sentence 45 Further examples of closing paragraphs 45 5 Summary of Essay Structure 50 6 Sample Essay 1: A Discursive Essay 52 v
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7 Sample Essay 2: Literature 61 Essays on literature in examinations 61 8 Sample Essay 3: Writing about Poetry 71 9 Sample Essay 4: Another Essay on a Poem 77
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